• Abu Dhabi Grand Prix

Debris most likely caused Vettel's puncture - Pirelli

ESPNF1 Staff
November 16, 2011 « Work at Austin suspended amid race contract dispute | Vergne still on top after second day of Young Driver Test »
Sebastian Vettel retired from the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix with a puncture © Sutton Images

Pirelli has confirmed that Sebastian Vettel's retirement from the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix was not caused by a structural failure of his right-rear tyre, citing debris as a likely reason for the puncture.

Vettel spun out in the second corner of the race after his tyre deflated coming out of turn one. After the race the team refused to speculate on the reasons for the puncture, insisting a full investigation would be carried out.

There was little left of the tyre after Vettel recovered his car to the pits with the carcass flailing around and damaging bodywork, but by analysing what was left of the soft compound tyre Pirelli was able to rule out a structural failure.

"We can confirm that a structural failure was not the cause of Sebastian Vettel's deflation in Abu Dhabi, a conclusion that we have arrived at together with Red Bull Racing following a detailed examination and analysis of the remains of the tyre," Pirelli's motorsport director Paul Hembery said. "We cannot rule out debris on the track causing damage to the tyre, which then provoked a deflation, but having looked at the track closely there is no direct evidence of this."

After the race Red Bull team principal Christian Horner said: "The initial suspicion is that it was a bit of debris, perhaps from one of the support races. He [Vettel] wasn't particularly high on the kerb or anything like that. He just appears to have been unlucky today."